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tv   Washington Journal On the Phones with Philip Rucker  CSPAN  October 9, 2017 11:47am-12:02pm EDT

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ability to manipulate it and play up like a fiddle, that probably will not be exactly the same next time. however, the -- what h.w. said hich was really true is he did disrupt the i think that it's always kind of a game of catch two-party syste and that he has this group of voters who are beholden only to him. not necessarily to republicans in congress but only to him. nd one of the reasons that the republicans brought up yet another obamacare repeal effort is that when they went home over break all they heard was, why aren't you doing more to help donald trump? why aren't you doing more to fulfill your promises? that base of voters, however small it might be getting, it's still really, really strong. >> we'll take this group to the community hub and the texas union. thank you so much for joining us today. [applause] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2017]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> on the hill today reporting on the white house saying it will seek more funds from congress to finance a border wall between the us us and mexico and hire thousands more immigration officers. the new plan also calls for a crackdown onboarder security, more resources to catch people already living in the u.s. illegally, and creating a merit-based system that would limit migration for spouses and children. president says the new demands have to be met before he'll agree to legislation to protect daca immigrants brought to the u.s. as children who registered under the deferred deportation program. you can read more at the here's a closer look at the week ahead at the white house. page "the washington post," this is feud dline, a new imperils of president agenda, it reads as follows -- h --
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host: that's this morning from "the washington post."
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the column cyst joining us live on the phone. thanks very much for being with us. guest: good morning. host: and i guess i just have to say, wow. where do you begin with something like this? this is an early supporter of donald trump and a key ally on capitol hill that the president is going to need for the next year and a half. guest: that's right. it's a pretty extraordinary development. you know, it started with trump picking this fight with corker on twitter yesterday morning. and really attacking corker. and it just -- it unleashed a lot of comments that i suspect the senator had been holding on to for some time, waiting for the right moment to go public with. noip case our audience missed what the president tweeted yesterday morning, let me share with all of you, and there are three of them from the president --
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host: phil rucker, your response. guest: yeah, you know, that's quite a charge from a president, and it's worth noting that senator corker's chief of staff has gone on the record to state that the president was mischaracterizing those conversations, that actually the president had offered his support to senator corker should he run for re-election, that he wanted him to run for re-election, and that as recently as last monday of last week, the president called corker to ask him to reconsider his decision to retire and encouraged him to run for re-election and said he would have the president's support. host: and let me follow up on the comments by the "new york times" in a story this morning
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indicating that with senator corker is what the "new york times" is claiming many republicans have been saying privately for weeks or months. guest: that's right. and we've heard this, too. there's been a lot of concern on capitol hill about the president's fitness for office and his decision making and what many of his allies even see as reckless behavior. but nobody has been willing to go on the record with those concerns. and to make them known publicly, and corker really becomes the first senior office holder to rebuke the president in such a fashion, i think it will be interesting to see whether any other republicans on capitol hill are going to join corker in his criticisms over the next few days, or if they're all going to be, you know, remain timid and just keep those thoughts to themselves privately. host: the house is in. the senate is out for the columbus day break. and this is the response by senator bob corker in his tweet
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yesterday, which also was getting an awful lot of attention, it's a shame the white house has become an adult daycare center, someone obviously missed their shift this morning. guest: yeah. you know, that tweet was -- sort of went viral almost immediately online. it got many more retweets than any of the attacks that originated from president trump. but it also fits this theme that corker has been pressing, including with his comments about tillerson, mattis, and kelly last week, where he said they protect the country from chaos. his point is that the president, when he makes decisions on his own, can be reckless and dangerous. and that it's important that these figures are there to help protect from bad and reckless decisions. host: of course, phil rucker, this follows the news conference late last week by the secretary of state, rex tillerson, basically denying that he called the president a moron, also saying that he
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serves at the pleasure of the president, and president trump saying that he has a good relationship with his secretary of state, although he would prefer him to be a little bit tougher. so does that allow rex tillerson to bargain from a position of strength as the secretary of state when he meets with world leaders? guest: not at all, in part because our reporting and the reporting of many other news organizations shows the opposite, that the relationship between trump and tillerson is incredibly strained right now, and, you know, irrepairable. i talked to a number of white house officials last week who said that these two men simply do not get along. there's a breach of trust. they don't have personal chemistry. and that they do not expect tillerson will be around for very long. so when tillerson travels the world, he's something of a lame duck, and world leaders are going to say why should i negotiate with you and take your word when the president may pop up on twitter in a few
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minutes here completely contradicting what you're saying? and that's the problem with this relationship. it's what we saw on north korea , the previous weekend, you know, eight or nine days ago, and it's what i think we're going to continue to see. host: so where does this put the president? because clearly he has been trying to run against the establishment, and yet you have what many would call a very establishment republican, bob corker, going after him. does this only energize his base? guest: you know, it could potential, but i think the problem is that corker is fairly respected around the world and in washington, and when he makes a comment like this, it's not the same as any average senator speaking up. it's just the chairman of the foreign relations committee, somebody who is seen as a bipartisan straight shooter, and somebody who's known trump for some time and has a personal relationship with him.
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if he's offering this sort of assessment in public, i think the alarm bells go off. host: the president just a moment ago tweeting on north korea, let me just share it with you exactly what he said, along of lines of what he's been tweeting earlier, our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with north korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars and getting nothing. policy didn't work. by all accounts, including what he said late last week, it's the calm before the storm, he is at least signaling the possibility of a military strike towards north korea. is that a fair assessment? guest: i think this is a fair assessment, and this is something he's been signaling for some time, this point -- the feeling that the diplomatic policy has not been working with north korea for 25 years is a talking point that he's been hitting on repeatedly, including just on saturday. and so i think, you know, we're going to continue to hear this drum beat from the president.
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the question i have is whether there's actual action, whether there are preparations underway behind all of the rhetoric for military action. we simply don't know. there's no indication of that at this point other than, of course, the military being prepared and ready for something, you know, should the commander in chief choose. but i just don't know that there's anything more serious than that happening behind the scenes. host: let me also get your reaction from this headline from "the washington post." the story points out the trump administration, one of the wealthiest in modern u.s. history, facing widening criticism over travel expenditures among some of the billionaires, budget hawks, and business executives who head federal agencies, and the reporting in "the washington post" that this could add up to millions of dollars in private charter air service for members of the cabinet just in the first eight, nine months of the trump administration. guest: yeah, it's pretty extraordinary. the report actually found five
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separate inspectors general investigations underway into the travel practices of these cabinet members. you know, we sometimes think that tom price, the health secretary, was the only one abusing this system, and he was fired a week or two ago. but there are many other cabinet secretaries who have been flying around on private jets and taking these private flights when there are clearly affordable commercial options available to them. and i think it's going to be very interesting to see where these investigations go and whether the president has tolerance for this, whether these other figures are going to get the boot the way price did. host: we're talking with philip rucker from "the washington post." his story is front page this morning, also available online at let me bring it back to the story that many people will be talking about, your piece, and from the "new york times," senator corker's comments, and
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our colleague who manages our capitol hill coverage for c-span just a short while ago tweeting the following from 2016 to give you a sense of where the relationship once was between senator corker and president trump, then candid trump, a great friend of mine, somebody respected by everybody, from raleigh, north carolina, in july 2016. so clearly, a relationship that was strong a year ago is now weakened. guest: that's right. and, you know, corker was one of the very first senator republican officials to actually embrace donald trump. he praised foreign policy speech that trump gave way back in april of 2016. this was in the heat of the primaries, when a lot of republican gray beard figures like corker were not willing to lend their gravitas to candidate trump, but corker was there. he praised him. he helped tutor trump. he helped kind of show trump
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about foreign affairs and help prepare him to be president and was considered a potential vice-presidential running mate and also a potential secretary of state. so this is a real rupture in one of the few personal relationship that trump has had in washington, and it could be damaging for his legislative agenda, you know, corker sits as chairman of the foreign relations committee. so, you know, should the president punt this iran decision up to congress, which is what we expect to happen this week, it's going to be corker helping oversee that process. another key point, you know, should trump get rid of rex tillerson and have a new secretary of state, those confirmation hearings are going to occur in corker's committee, with corker presiding. so this is a very influential senator who's going to have a lot to determine the future of this administration. host: as always, philip rucker, we appreciate your insight. your piece this morning is
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front page of the newspaper. >> the trump administration will also begin reviewing the obama administration's climate change rules on power plants, part of the terrorists climate agreement. clean power plant sought to cut 32% of the emissions. the secretary made the announcement alongside mitch mcconnell. tonight on "the communicators," from the black cat conference -- black hat conference in las vegas. a discussion on foreign adversaries and terrorists. >> the device controlling the


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